Introduction: The Beginner's Guide to Buying Airsoft Field Gear



So you've bought your AEG, but your blue jeans don't have enough pockets to hold all those extra magazines. It's time to buy some new gear.

The problem with buying new gear is that I can't tell you exactly what to buy.

Chances are you'll have different needs because of your environment where you play, your position on your team (light rifleman, medium rifleman, designated marksman), how often you play. Also your age and mass.

*CQB play has different positions that I do not really discuss, sorry CQB friends*

That being said I can give you my advice on loadout style, what equipment to get, etc.

Step 1: The Role You Play = the Gear You Buy


I've seen many airsoft instructables that start off with something along the lines of:

"wat role u going to play? ther r snipes, riflman, & comander...."

The truth is most of us already have a preconceived notion of what role we'd like to play. When I first started playing airsoft I wanted to be the "Leader" element (I had no idea which military ranks were which).

Since I wanted to be a "Leader" I assumed that I only needed one or two magazines for my Thompson and I would be issuing orders and sticking to the back of my team so I could see everything that was going on.

I began to play airsoft more and more and I've recently been playing at a field where all the players are excellent. That being said I've taken more of a Medium Rifleman role. I take orders from the commanding Officer of my squad.

"What's your point?" You're probably asking that. Well the point is you nor other people can tell you what position you play. That's right, YOU can NOT tell yourself what kind of player you are.

The best thing you can do is get out there play a couple of games and then compare your playing style to the roles listed in the link below. Just substitute the words "paint" or "paintballs" for "bb's."

http://articles.specialopspaintball.com/index.php/go/teams-positions/

After you've compared those things we can start to decide what kind of gear you'll be needing.

Step 2: "I Just Started Playing, and I Want Gear ASAP!"


I'm sure some of you disregarded my advice on playing first, or maybe you're in a rush to get gear because your friends are playing this weekend.

Here's some quick stuff to get you started that you'll probably use as you find out your team position.

Some basic stuff that you may like:

-BDU's
-Chest Rig
-High Top shoes/boots
-Paintball mask/full seal goggles

All this gear will be explained in later steps.

Step 3: Necessary Gear (Regardless of Position)

Gear suitable for every role:

-Gloves

I live in Florida. It gets really hot, but I wear full-finger gloves for three reasons:

1. So I don't cut myself on anything
2. The mosquitoes here suck (I guess that's a given)
3. So I don't have any bb-shaped wounds.

Some people don't like full-finger gloves because it restricts movement a little bit or it's uncomfortable or some other reason. My advice is to buy full finger gloves and worse comes to worse, cut the fingers off of them if you don't like them.

-BDU's

Battle Dress Uniform. My BDU has a pattern on it called "x-camo" (seen in the below image). The best way to describe it is "A digital Multicam" it's also MUCH cheaper. I used to run with MARPAT or woodland camo, but I just don't have any real "woods" where I play. It's all about environment, though I'd argue that it'll work in almost any environment you wear it in.

BDU's are not 100% necessary though. A very skilled friend of mine runs with a tan t-shirt and off-white pants. He's always one of the last ones to get out (in a losing game).

Honestly, the best thing you can do is go to places where legitimate teams (or huge groups of airsoft players) play and see which of them are hardest to pick out in battle. Ask them what camo scheme they're running and go buy it.

-Goggles

Eye Protection is a given, but most fields require a full seal around the eyes or just a paintball mask. I wear AIM Top brand goggles (full seal).

-Face Mask

I wear a neoprene face mask because it absorbs all my sweat and camouflages my face. Granted it's not a necessity, but it's definitely something to consider. The only downside is that some masks don't have enough/big enough breathing holes. A hobby knife will take care of that pretty nicely.

-Boots/high top shoes

If you play in the muddy waters of Louisiana you need boots. If you play in mud you need boots. If you play on the side of mountains you need boots.

If you play CQB you don't need boots, but then again you're probably not reading this instructable since it has a field focus.

-Radios

Not as important when you're doing smaller games, but when you play capture the flag with 10 people it's a very good idea to have a means of communication. I use some cheap Motorola radios with a Firefox Throat mic.

-Hats and Helmets

Not completely necessary, but a good option. I have a helmet because I don't like getting shot in the head and I always end up running into a tree (don't ask). Unfortunately I do not have a camo helmet cover so it'll sometimes give away my position. On the other hand, I have a MARPAT boonie (hat) that works pretty good at camouflaging me and also providing some extra shade from the sun.

-Knee pads

I run with knee pads because I'm often ducking and kneeling. Rocks are in abundance where I play so I bought knee pads. Knee pads are great and they can be fairly inexpensive, especially if you already have a pair from another sport.

-Hydration

Reusable water bottle clipped onto your chest rig with a carabiner, hydration pouch on your back, however you do it make sure that you have it.

Step 4: Chest Rigs and Some Girl Named MOLLE


-Chest Rig

If you're not too sure about the kind of gear to buy, this is the way to go. It's only about $20. That's a steal. The specs are tagged in the picture. It's not upgradeable, but it fits most needs.

-MOLLE based gear

Read all about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOLLE

Basically it's a system that allows you to add more pouches to a vest/rig/harness. Bought more magazines? Buy another MOLLE pouch for it. MOLLE compatible equipment can be pretty expensive for a newer player/someone without any income.

Other gear:

do a search of "ALICE" on wikipedia. There are other systems out there, but I'm just dgoing into the basics here.

My advice:

Start off with a Condor chest rig. Why? It's only $20. If you find that you really do need more pouches for whatever it may be, sell the chest rig and buy MOLLE compatible gear. MOLLE gear is expensive to start with and if you find that you don't like it/don't need it, you've easily thrown $50+ out the window.

Step 5: How Position Relates to Gear and a Few Tips

*Again, these are all suggestions*

If you're a designated Marksman, you don't need as many magazines as your teammates (1-2). If you're a heavy rifleman you need the most amount of magazines (6+). Light Rifleman and Commanding Officer need 3-4, and the Medium Rifleman needs 4-6.

Lighter Positions need less gear (or "kit" as so many players call it). Heavier positions need more. Find what's more suitable to your position.


A Few Tips:

-A Heavy gunner needs to have an extra battery (depending on what type of battery and it's maH).

-It's always good for everyone to have radios.

-If your Designated Marksman is using a Semi-automatic/gas/spring weapon, he may want to have a fully automatic sidearm. Perhaps an Mp7, MP5, or Hi-Capa Extreme. There are leg holsters for these airsoft guns out on the market.

-Don't carry what you don't need. I leave a gallon of water at the staging area and carry a reusable water bottle during games.

-See what the "good" airsofters run with. Ask them their advice on equipment. Their equipment is likely to be more suitable for the type of games that you play.

-Always see if you can buy/trade gear with other players.

Comments

author
RileyM6 (author)2015-05-31

This is a great post, but I thought I'd point out that the BDU's are the old Army uniform. Now we have ACU's which is the digital camo. Great Instructable though, definitely worth saving in my internet tabs.

author
JackW10 (author)RileyM62015-12-02

those look like USMC BDUs I'm not saying you are wrong

author
cool_breeze (author)2013-10-20

I remember this exact game where this pic was taken...awesome

author
Landon Sullivan (author)2011-09-13

Finally, a useful guide. With proper grammar, to boot!

author

Thank you, good sir! I used to be an English major.

author
nfk11 (author)2011-07-20

the link dosent work if i change to airsoft or bb's.

author
godfathertrevor (author)nfk112011-07-20

You don't need to change anything. I've already linked it to the page that I'm referring to. Every time you read "paintballs, pods, or markers" replace the words in your head with "bb's, magazines, or airsoft guns."

Same things apply to airsoft.

author
nfk11 (author)godfathertrevor2011-07-21

oh ok

author
godfathertrevor (author)2011-05-16

No thanks. Not interested.

author
35Timmy (author)godfathertrevor2011-05-23

that's okay i understand i just want to make sure everyone has a good airsoft gun

author
isaacjonv (author)2011-04-20

ur BEAST HOUSE

author
35Timmy (author)isaacjonv2011-04-30

I would say a house that is filled with a beast

author

I'm sorry, I don't quite understand.

author
zacpro (author)2011-04-25

I have this rig in OD, but it only fits 3 g3 mags.

author
godfathertrevor (author)2011-04-16

To answer your first question: I'm dandy, thanks for asking.

To answer your second question:

It sounds like you have a pretty good all around balance, but you're definitely not a designated marksman because you like to constantly be in the firefight.

Because the first thing you said was that you "like to be in the thick of things" I'd say that you'd probably be the best at assault and possibly taking a leadership position over a small number of troops.

Your secondary position would probably be in some sort of a flanking position. I'm not sure how new you are to airsoft so I'll explain that a bit (if you already know all this skip to the end of the paragraph with the "***" symbols.

***If you encounter an enemy at say 12 o'clock then you're going to want to try and hit them from their (emphasis on "their") 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock even their 6 o'clock so as to catch them off guard and get a better position on the enemy.***

You'd still be in the middle of the action but you'd likely be initiating it from an angle (unless they see you) so you'll likely have even more adrenaline going through your veins. Regardless you're probably going to have the most fun with those positions.

Just remember to make sure that you listen to your higher ranking officer (or team leader, depending on how casual your gameplay is). You never want to get on the bad side of your buddies/teammates. And that's probably the best advice I can give to a starting player: ALWAYS listen to the team leader and follow orders. And if you think you have a better idea, try to slip it to one of the the leader's buddies or one of the more experienced players before bringing it up to the commander/leader/team leader.

You may want to stick to a lighter rig when in a direct assault. When flanking it will probably be better for you to take a buddy with you that has a ton of ammo. That's the ambush/surprise element.

author
thing 2 (author)2011-04-15

I probably am this guy. JK! :P

I have a paintball mask but no camo, so I just wear black pants and a brown hoodie.

author
thing 2 (author)2011-04-15

Hey Trevor, how are you? (Just curious).

Like you said you can't tell yourself what position you WANT to be. Can you help?

I am fast, I am getting an AEG, and I like to be in the thick of things. I am also

stealthy and somewhat good at setting ambushes. I can run for quite a while. Also

every now and then I will go Kamikaze. What do you think I am?

author
prop master (author)2011-02-09

im new and i baught some on sale hunter camo is that ok

author
Slayerfan666 (author)2011-01-10

I use German Flecktarn camo, great pattern I recommend it.

author
tobydog789 (author)2011-01-08

just goggles dont work! i took a bb in the nose and it hurt like hell and what is a bdu?

author


Battle
Dress
Uniform

Whether goggles work for you or not depends on what you're trying to accomplish with your eyewear.

author
lapiosaatana (author)2010-12-26

i live in Finland and here winter is realy cold(over -20celssius) and summer is warm(20 celssius) so i use woodland BDU's and green sweater in summer that combination giwes me comando look. and i can use same sweater at winter under my jacket

author
lemonie (author)2010-12-17


This is just talking about airsoft. You've not been very definite about many things so there's not much to see / learn. E.g:
do a search of "ALICE" on wikipedia
Read all about it here (link)
Ask them what camo scheme they're running and go buy it

Could you distill your experience into something more instructive?

L

author
godfathertrevor (author)lemonie2010-12-17



(I deleted the first comment for a typing error)

A bit harsh, don't you think?

The problem is that I can't tell someone what gear to buy. When you buy gear you're ultimately choosing what's comfortable and what you need.

The most anyone can do is offer suggestions and give a little basic knowledge on what to buy. It's up to the educated consumer to make purchases.

This guide is for beginners, more specifically, beginners that don't have a place to start.

But you are correct, I suppose I can add "pro and con" lists to be a bit more defining, but I believe that's all I can do.


author
lemonie (author)godfathertrevor2010-12-18


It's for beginners so what you know would be useful (as you say pro/con). Or spend-levels - budget/reasonable/money-no-object?
People who do airsoft often post a lot of text (without original pictures) and you end up with something about airsoft for people who do airsoft, which doesn't really show how to do something.
You'll be right that the most anyone can do is offer suggestions and give a little basic knowledge on what to buy - but a good shopping-guide might include where-froms and brand comparisons?

L

author
godfathertrevor (author)lemonie2010-12-18

Good point. I'll refine it when I get home.

Thanks for the feedback!

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